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Aikido: Martial Arts in Temecula

Aikido is a martial art of Japan. The main purpose of Aikido is to refine the character and polish the spirit. Through Aikido you are practicing to survive and subdue aggression as well as to achieve a peaceful and harmonious life. Practical effectiveness is absolutely essential. But at another level the goal of Aikido is to transform destructiveness into a way that respects and preserves life. It’s the balance of power and compassion.

The essence of all Japanese martial arts – judo, jiujitsu, karate, sword, staff – are all contained in Aikido. So in our Aikido we train to apply the principle of aiki to all types of situations against all types of opponents.  At the core of the principle of aiki is the idea of non-resistance whereby strength is not overcome with strength. Instead, it’s important to learn how to generate internal power and control an opponent without relying entirely on size or strength.

In judo there are throws, karate involves kicking and punching and in iaido we cut with the sword. The essence of all the Japanese martial arts is contained in the movements of Aikido. Weak or strong has no meaning. Aikido is committed to the peaceful coexistence and prosperity of all.

Shoji Nishio Shihan

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Aikido is everything a martial art should be: engaging physically, mentally, and creatively. Greenwood Sensei teaches in a way that is captivating to those new to the art, and to those who have been walking the path. The Nishio way of Aikido is extremely effective as a martial art and holds true to the philosophies set forth by Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido. Greenwood Sensei’s communication of this method is top notch, to say the least.

Gary Lehman
US Marine Corps

Each week for the past 4 years I drive 1 1/2 hours each way to train with Greenwood Sensei and it’s well worth it. The dojo is a safe haven where I learn to turn the ideas of peaceful negotiation and acceptance into reality, not only physically, but in my everyday life and work.

Carre St. Andre
US Army, Veteran

Before training with Greenwood Sensei I trained for over 30 years in karate and competed in full contact. At 68 I’m at a point in my life where I realize the foolishness of a lot of that. Especially the damage I did to myself. But I do know what works and what doesn’t. Greenwood Sensei is the real deal. He’s extremely patient. He makes sure that you get it right and that it works. Learning to move naturally without causing stress or damage to my body is something I wish I had learned years ago. The dojo is incredible. It feels like family. And the teaching is second to none.

Dan Cole
Black Belt Karate, Fumio Demura


Philip Greenwood, Aikido Martial Arts TemeculaPhilip Greenwood (6th dan aikido, 5th dan iaido) began training in Aikido the 1970’s at the Pasadena Aikikai founded by Tadaharu Wakabayashi. Wakabayashi Sensei had trained at Hombu Dojo, the Aikido headquarters school in Tokyo under Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Seigo Yamaguchi and Hiroshi Tada before moving to the U.S. and opening Pasadena Aikikai. The school hosted many top instructors including Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Moriteru Ueshiba, the son and grandson of Morihei Ueshiba O Sensei, the Founder of Aikido. Moriteru Ueshiba is the current Doshu (hereditary Chairman) of the Aikikai Foundation (World Aikido Organization). Other instructors included Mitsunari Kanai, Yoshimitsu Yamada, Kazuo Chiba. All of this afforded him a wide variety of influences and experience. At that time the dojo was under the direction of Gene Anderson and Francis Takahashi. Greenwood Sensei was an instructor at Pasadena Aikikai Dojo through the 1980’s until moving to Temecula in 1990 where he opened his own school and also began training with Mitsugi Saotome and Hiroshi Ikeda.

In the 1980’s Greenwood Sensei had the good fortune to meet the late Robert Bryner Sensei (7th dan Okinawan Kempo, 6th dan Aikido) a student of Taika Oyata as well as the great aikido master Shoji Nishio. Greenwood Sensei studied karate privately with Bryner Sensei. Inspired by both Bryner and Nishio, Greenwood Sensei became a dedicated student of Nishio Sensei. Sadly, Nishio Sensei passed away in 2005, but in 2000 he had appointed Koji Yoshida Shihan as his successor. Yoshida Sensei appointed Greenwood Sensei as President of Nishikaze Aikido Society of America, the official organization representing the tradition of Nishio Sensei in the U.S. Greenwood Sensei remains a dedicated student of Yoshida Sensei and travels regularly to Japan to further his study with Yoshida Sensei as well as at Hombu Dojo. He is also a Chiropractic Doctor practicing for over 25 years in Temecula.

Heather Greenwood, Aikido Martial Arts TemeculaHeather Greenwood (2nd dan aikido, 2nd dan iaido) began training in Aikido in 2000. She has home schooled her two daughters in the classical education model of learning for over seven years. Other areas of interest include woodblock art, photography, ikebana (flower arranging), cooking, gardening and painting. She has a great passion for Japanese culture and loves travelling to Japan. She always brings great passion and a warm and happy spirit to the dojo! Visit Heather’s personal BLOG at

A natural setting of bamboo and Japanese gardens surround the traditionally styled Greenwood Aikido Dojo, inspiring a sense of calm and transporting you into another world.

Throughout the years I have studied many different forms of martial arts. Many teachers that taught these arts had different approaches based on the style, art and the cause and effect of how they devastate the opponent. Aikido as a Martial Art is more of a way of life. It lets your challenger understand there is another way to resolve issues without serious injury to anyone. The art in itself is very complex where you will continuously try to perfect your technique. The simplest of movements of using your body or your hands can change the outcome and direction of the individual who has tried to strike or attack you.This can be done without any injuries. It’s an Art that has no end to what you can learn no matter how long you practice. Aikido is something you can do well into your 70’s, 80’s and beyond. It is a philosophy to preserve life above all and true peace.

Michael Leonardi
US Marine Corps, Vietnam Veteran

I’ve been in law enforcement for over 25 years. Dealing with large, difficult suspects is always a challenge. But since training with Greenwood Sensei I’m able to control suspects who are much bigger and stronger than me without causing injury to them or myself.

Tony Pelato
Riverside County Sherriff

What Is Aikido?

Aikido is pronounce ah-ee • kee • doh with equal emphasis on each syllable.  It is formed from three Japanese characters (kanji) 合気道.  合 (ai) means to fit, merge or join, 気 (ki) means mind, energy, feeling and 道 (dō) refers to a way of life or a philosophical practice.  Together these characters are often translated as “The Way of Harmonious Spirit” or simply “The Way of Harmony.”

If you are looking for a non-violent martials art in Temecula then Aikido is the perfect art for you.

Greenwood Aikido is affiliated with Nishikaze Aikido Society of America and Aikikai Foundation Tokyo, Japan.  All student and instructor ranking is accredited through the Aikikai Foundation, Tokyo.